A big chop story: Amy Kay

Hi Beauties! 

Meet Amy Kay. She recently big chopped and her new hair and natural swag is on point!! Check out her story below:

NB: Introduce yourself.

My name is Amy K. Howard but all of my friends call me
“Amy Kay.” I was born and raised in Tampa, FL but I’ve spent my last 3 years in
Richmond, VA working as a senior underwriter for Nationwide Insurance Company.
I’m a UF alum. I love my Gators and I bleed orange and blue.

I decided to go natural just to see what my ‘real’ hair
texture looked like. I’ve had a relaxer since the age of 3, so I really had no
idea what to expect.

NB: When did you big chop?

I just chopped it 5 days ago

Why did you decide to finally take the plunge
and chop off all your relaxed hair?

The goal was to gradually transition. To be honest, when
I first decided back in June 2011 that I would go natural I envisioned myself
cutting bit by bit. I had a plan of doing a round or two of braids and then
having enough new growth to start doing more ‘natural’ styles like twists,
flexi-rod sets and etc. The braids worked great! I had two sets and kept them
12 weeks at a time and had about a week in between sets. They were easy to
maintain and worked out wonderfully with my half-marathon training routine. I
was running/working out 4-6 times a week and working up sweat with no issues
with my hair. It wasn’t until that I took them out and tried to continue with
the same routine that I realized that the two textures weren’t going to work
for me… at all. After the first hard work out my roots ‘exploded’ to say the
least and it was really terrible in contrast to my relaxed hair. I had a
decision to make… try to ‘tame my hair’ on a daily basis which meant a lot of
heat or just chop it, live with it and go!

NB: Did big chopping have any emotional implications
for you?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect actually. The day of
my hair appointment for my BC I was a little nervous and tried to figure out
how I would feel after all was said and done. I didn’t know if I was going to
look while she was cutting it or wait until after for the big reveal. I didn’t
even know if I would shed a few tears. It turns out that I felt lighter, free
and kinda like a new woman. It was a great feeling! I’m happy I did it. I would
do it all over again.

Do you feel less sexy or more empowered now that
you’ve cut off over 9 inches of hair off?

I definitely feel more empowered! I don’t foresee myself
feeling less sexy because I still have the inner confidence and the smile that
I wear proudly. I feel like I am coming into my own. Each year that passes, I
am learning more about myself and liking the woman that I’m becoming. It’s a
great feeling.

NB: What is your greatest natural hair goal?

I really want to grow my natural hair out and be able to
rock a killer twist out a la Tracee Ellis Ross or even one like your own, Ms.
Betty. I must say, I’ve read your blog about your natural hair journey and I’ve
seen the progress you’ve made and I’m definitely inspired.

NB: What is your current natural hair regimen?

Sadly, I don’t have one yet. I just chopped my hair 5
days ago and before that approximately 2 weeks ago I still had braids so I’m
still trying to figure that out lol. So far I’ve purchased several Shea
Moisture products because my girlfriend uses them and loves them. I’m still not
really sure how often to co-wash or regular wash my hair… I’ve got A LOT to
learn. Thank goodness for blogs and 
YouTube videos.

NB: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced since
big chopping?

I haven’t really had any yet. I guess I will come across
a challenge or two as I start to try to do my own hair instead of going to a
salon for assistance.

Would you recommend big chopping to

I would but it really depends on the individual. I’ve had
friends avoid the big chop by gradually trimming, using sew-ins or getting
straw sets but they also weren’t working out regularly which definitely proved
to be problematic for me. It’s definitely important to think it through before
you chop it. A year ago, if someone would have told me that I would chopping
almost 9 inches of my hair to complete my natural hair journey, I would have
called them liar but here I am now!

NB: What
advice would you give someone if they’re struggling with the transition

If this is something that you REALLY want to do, then
stick with it. Have patience. Get creative. Use this as opportunity to change
up your style if you choose. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different hair
styles. Follow blogs and look at videos so you can see that others have
attempted the same feat and have succeeded. There are a plethora of hair
options out there; you just have to pick the right one for you.

NB: Have
you experienced any resistance to your natural hair from men? Do they embrace
it or fight it?

Since I’m new to the fully natural hair game, I haven’t
experienced much either way. The few comments that I’ve had have been positive.
My boyfriend approves but then again, he likes me with long straight hair,
curly braids or even a teeny weeny afro ::whispers:: he might be a little

NB: Who
is your natural hair crush?

Oh goodness… I can’t just pick one… I have several:
Tracee Ellis Ross, Corrine Bailey Rae, Viola Davis (a recent addition) and of
course you, Natasha Betty. You have fab hair!

inspires you to continue on your natural hair journey?

Looking at all of the possibilities; all of the
hairstyles that I’ll be able to achieve once my hair grows out a little bit
more definitely inspires me. It’s amazing what  you can do with your natural, God-given locks.

NB: What
makes you naturally glam?

The fact that I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own
skin; the body that God has given me. The inner confidence that I have and the
genuine smile that I wear.

NB: Anything else you would like to
add about how you feel about natural hair?

I think natural hair is sexy and I can not
wait until I have more of it… it’ll just be more hair to play with and try out
new styles.

Thanks so much, Amy!! 

Have questions?? Drop them below!


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  1. April 10, 2012 / 6:53 pm

    Thank you for featuring Amy's story! My big chop is in two hours and this was the reassurance I needed. I've had relaxed hair since I was five. My first kitchen sink relaxer made my hair fall out! I've had "safe hair" since. I'm excited to embrace the hair God gave me. Since HE doesn't make mistakes I will see myself and my hair as beautiful. Thanks again!

  2. April 13, 2012 / 8:51 pm

    I love Amy's hair! It's very beautiful, and it's great to see her embracing it so much. I also had a relaxer since the age of 3 and one of my reasons of cutting my hair was also so that I could discover the real texture of my hair. Anyway, this post is very inspiring. At times, I get discouraged in my natural hair journey, but like Amy mentioned, all of the possibilities of what you can do with your natural hair keep me going.

  3. Anonymous
    April 18, 2012 / 1:46 am

    My friend shared this with me and Im glad she did. I feel like this is the closest story to mine that I've read. And she lives in Richmond (my hometown). This is truly inspiring!

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